Wednesday, August 22, 2018

August 23, 2018 - This Week's Box Contents, Featuring Tomatillo

Cooking With This Week's Box:

This Week’s Summary of Recipes and the Vegetables They Utilize:

Tomatillos: Vegetable Enchiladas with Tomatillo-Cream Sauce (see below)

Poblano Peppers: Vegetable Enchiladas with Tomatillo-Cream Sauce (see below); Roasted Poblano, Onion and Jack Quesadillas

Zucchini or Yellow Summer Squash: Vegetable Enchiladas with Tomatillo-Cream Sauce (see below); Zucchini-TomatoTart

White Spanish Onions or Red Onions: Vegetable Enchiladas with Tomatillo-Cream Sauce (see below); Fried Rice with Edamame & CornRoasted Poblano, Onion and Jack Quesadillas

Missouri Garlic: Vegetable Enchiladas with Tomatillo-Cream Sauce (see below); Fried Rice with Edamame & CornZucchini-TomatoTart 

Green Bell or Orange Italian Frying Peppers Or Orange Ukraine Peppers: Vegetable Enchiladas with Tomatillo-Cream Sauce (see below)

Jalapeno Peppers: Vegetable Enchiladas with Tomatillo-Cream Sauce (see below); Spicy Watermelon Margaritas

Sweet Corn: Vegetable Enchiladas with Tomatillo-Cream Sauce (see below); Fried Rice with Edamame & Corn

Welcome back for another week of cooking with the bounty of late summer!  I had a lot of fun testing this week’s featured recipe for Vegetable Enchiladas with Tomatillo-Cream Sauce (see below).  This was my first time ever making enchiladas.  While there are several steps to the process, they are really quite easy to make and very delicious to eat!  It also gave me a chance to talk to some of the Mexican ladies I work with about cooking.  Beatriz and Antonia are excellent cooks and make delicious tortillas, tamales, etc.  They coached me on different ways to prepare enchiladas, salsas, etc.  Food is a great portal to use for getting to know other people and other cultures.  While my version of this recipe may not be entirely traditional, it’s pretty close and I think you’ll enjoy it!  This recipe is also a great way to utilize multiple vegetables in your box in one recipe!

We’re happy to have more sweet, tender edamame beans this week and I can’t resist making my favorite Fried Rice with Edamame & Corn.  I make this in the winter with frozen vegetables, but it’s best made in the height of the season with fresh vegetables including edamame, sweet corn, carrots, garlic and onions.
Zucchini-Tomato Tart, photo from The Bojon Gourmet
This past week I came across a new blog that I really like and found this recipe for a Zucchini-Tomato Tart.  This recipe has a cornmeal crust and is filled with mozzarella, goat cheese, fresh basil, tomatoes and zucchini.  It makes a simple dish to serve for dinner or even brunch.

You won’t use all of your tomatoes in the Zucchini-Tomato Tart, so with the remaining tomatoes you can try this recipe for Brown Butter Tomatoes that can be found at Food 52.  This is a super simple recipe consisting of slices of fresh tomatoes drizzled with fresh, brown butter.  Eat these with toast and eggs for breakfast or as a side dish. 

Lets talk about the red seedless watermelon in this week’s box.  You could just opt to eat it just as it is, or you could use it to make either Spicy Watermelon Margaritas or Watermelon Peach Frose.  The watermelon margarita recipe comes from Jeanine who writes on her blog,  Jeanine is from Texas and knows margaritas!  This one gets its sweetness from watermelons and the spice from a jalapeno!  The watermelon peach frose recipe is a good option if you also receive the fruit share as we have Colorado peaches in this week’s box.  Basically you freeze fresh peaches and watermelon and then blend the frozen fruit with rose wine to make an adult slushy!

Photo from A Sweet Pea Chef
Now that we’ve tackled dinner ideas for 3-4 nights, as well as an idea for weekend brunch and some tasty drinks to enjoy on the patio with friends, lets clean up the remaining items in the box.  With the remaining peppers lingering in the bottom of the box, I’d like to suggest making the Roasted Poblano, Onion and Jack Quesadillas.  This recipe calls for 3 poblano peppers.  If you used one of your three peppers for the enchilada sauce, you may find yourself a little short on poblanos for this recipe.  If that’s the case, use the remainder of your poblano peppers and supplement with some of the sweet peppers.  Serve these with Parmesan Roasted Green Beans Parmesan Roasted Green Beans on the side.

There may be a few items in your box that I haven’t mentioned.  Some members will receive the last of this year’s Sweet Sarah Cantaloupe this week, but we won’t have enough for all boxes.  Don’t worry, we won’t leave a big hole in the box when the cantaloupe are gone!  We’re hoping to dig more potatoes this week, so for those who don’t receive the cantaloupe, you’ll most likely receive more potatoes or possibly more tomatoes.  I hope you have a great week and enjoy the final days of summer before it’s time to go back to school and transition into fall!  Next week we’ll be saying good-bye to August and welcoming in September!  —chef Andrea

Vegetable Feature: Tomatillos

Green and Purple Tomatillos
Tomatillos are an interesting “vegetable,” which are technically a fruit.  Despite the fact that they are often referred to as a “green tomato,” they are a bit different.  Tomatillos grow on plants that are similar to a tomato plant, but they are usually larger and have more of a wild, jungle-like appearance.  Their main stem is thick and sometimes resembles a small tree trunk! The plants can grow to be over seven feet tall, so we put stakes in between and tie the plants to them progressively as they grow in order to keep the plant upright and the fruit off the ground.  Tomatillos grow from pretty little yellow blossoms which are a favorite food source for bumble bees and other pollinator creatures.  The fruit is hidden inside a husk that looks like a little paper lantern.  You know the tomatillo is ready to pick when it fills the husk completely.  While most tomatillos are green, we also grow a heirloom purple variety that, when fully ripe, is dark purple on the outside and light purple inside!

Tomatillos may be eaten raw or cooked and have a mild, tangy flavor that is slightly fruity.   Purple tomatillos are more fruity and sweet than green tomatillos.  When raw, tomatillos are firm with a dense flesh.  Once cooked, tomatillos soften and break apart becoming more like sauce.  They have a lot of natural pectin which is a natural thickener.  The outer husk is not edible, so this needs to be removed before you use them.  The fruit inside might feel a little sticky, which is normal.  Just give them a quick rinse and you’re ready to go.

One of the most familiar ways to use tomatillos is in making salsa!  Tomatillo salsa may be prepared with all raw vegetables which will give you a fresh, chunky salsa.  The alternative is to cook the tomatillos on the stovetop with a little water before blending the softened, cooked tomatillos with the other salsa ingredients.  If you cook the tomatillos first, you’ll get a more smooth salsa.   Roasting tomatillos along with the other salsa ingredients such as onions, garlic, peppers and even limes cut in half will further develop the flavors of these ingredients giving you yet another version of tomatillo salsa.  You can roast the vegetables over an open flame on a grill or gas burner on your stove or put them in the oven under the broiler so you get that nice charred exterior.  Unlike roasted peppers, the skin on roasted tomatillos is generally left intact.  Tomatillo salsa is delicious when simply served as a snack or appetizer along with tortilla chips, but it can also be used to top off tacos, quesadillas, make enchiladas, or served alongside your morning eggs or stirred into a bowl of black beans and/or rice.

Pork and Tomatillo Stew, Picture from food&wine
Salsa is not the only thing you can do with a tomatillo.  There are many other interesting ways to take advantage of their unique tang and natural pectin.  The tanginess of tomatillos pairs very well with pork and can make a delicious Pork and Tomatillo Stew which is thickened by the tomatillo.  They can also be used to make sauces for chicken and bean dishes, blend them into guacamole, or incorporate them into soups.  They can make a delicious fresh vegetable salsa or salad when combined with fresh tomatoes, corn, edamame, onions, garlic, sweet and/or hot peppers and fresh herbs such as cilantro, parsley or basil.  Purple tomatillos are one of just a few purple vegetables that actually retain their purple color when cooked.  In fact the color of a cooked purple tomatillo is a stunning bright purple that is just gorgeous!

Tomatillos are best stored at room temperature until you are ready to use them, however it’s best to use them within a week.  They are also very easy to preserve for use in the off-season.  One option is to make salsa now and either can or freeze it.  If you don’t have time to make salsa or just want to have tomatillos available in the off-season for other uses, you can freeze tomatillos whole and raw.  Simply remove the outer husk, wash and dry the fruit.  Put them in a freezer bag and pop them into the freezer.  They don’t retain their firm texture after freezing, so don’t be surprised if they are soft when you thaw them.  If you are using them to make a cooked salsa or some other cooked preparation, the texture issue isn’t an issue.  Have fun and enjoy this unique selection!

Vegetable Enchiladas with Tomatillo-Cream Sauce (Enchiladas Suizas)

Yield:  4 servings

¾ pound green tomatillos, husks removed
1 jalapeño pepper
1 poblano pepper
¼ tsp cumin seeds, toasted
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
½- ¾ cup roughly chopped cilantro
½ cup boiling water
½ cup sour cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for frying the tortillas
4 oz fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup diced sweet peppers
1 cup diced zucchini
½ cup diced red onion
2 ears fresh corn, kernels cut from the cob
4-6 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
8 (6 inch) corn tortillas
Pico de gallo, for serving (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.  You will also need a blender to puree the sauce.
  2. First, roast tomatillos, jalapeño and poblano pepper either over an open flame such as a grill or gas burner, or under the broiler in the oven.  Roast until blackened all over.  Once roasted, put the tomatillos and jalapeño directly into a blender.  Put the poblano pepper in a bowl and cover it to steam for 5-10 minutes before removing the peeling and the seeds.  Roughly chop the poblano pepper and add it to the blender.  
  3. Add the cumin seeds, garlic, cilantro, salt, freshly ground black pepper and boiling water to the blender along with the tomatillos and peppers. Blend until smooth, then add the sour cream and blend to combine.  Taste and adjust the seasoning of the sauce to taste with additional salt and pepper.  Set the enchilada sauce aside.
  4. Heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat.  Add 1 Tbsp vegetable oil to the pan.  When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and onions.  Sautè for several minutes or until the mushrooms begin to soften.  Add 1 Tbsp more oil to the pan and then add the sweet peppers, zucchini and corn.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sautè until the vegetables are tender but not fully cooked.  Remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. Heat another medium sized skillet over medium-high heat.  Add enough vegetable oil to the pan to completely cover the bottom of the pan in a thick layer.  Working in batches, grasp tortillas with tongs and fry each one in the oil just until it’s pliable, 30-40 seconds at most.  Transfer the tortillas to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.  Once all of the tortillas are fried, you can start assembling the enchiladas.
  6. First, prepare a 9 x 13-inch baking pan by pouring a thin layer of sauce in the bottom.  Lay each tortilla on a work surface and prepare them one at a time.  Put some of the vegetable mixture on the tortilla and roll it as tightly as you can.  Put the rolled tortillas in the baking pan, seam side down.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas to create one row down the center of the dish.  Once all of the tortillas are rolled, pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the tortilla rolls.  Spread the shredded cheese evenly over the top of the tortillas.
  7. Bake the enchiladas for 25 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted on top and lightly browned.  Remove from the oven, and let cool for 10 minutes.  Serve warm with plenty of sauce and pico de gallo.

This recipe was created by Chef Andrea Yoder.  It was adapted from and inspired by a recipe for Chicken Enchiladas Suizas featured in the July 2012 publication of Saveur magazine.  The original version of the recipe may be found at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We all loved this recipe. Thank you!
Kathy w